These are the thoughts and takeaways from the latest Resourcing Think Tank (RTT) held on Tuesday 12th May 2015 hosted by F5’s Karen Jones (Recruitment Manager, EMEA) titled ‘Segmentation vs 360 – Structuring the Internal Recruitment Function”.
The following summary has been prepared to reflect a segment of the discussion held amongst senior HR and Resourcing professionals from leading national and international businesses. Specific company details, experiences and examples have been omitted from this summary as all discussions are held under ‘Chatham House Rules’.
Deciding whether to segment your internal Talent Acquisition function or operate with 360 recruiters is an on-going debate. And whichever way your businesses is structured, you won’t be alone in questioning whether the grass is greener on one side or the other. For many businesses enjoying sustained growth, now is the time to assess which model is going to effectively help you deliver against increasing headcounts and respond to the demands of the business. This summary will discuss the different contributing factors that effect and impact of each model.
When assessing which type of model a business should use all of the below should be considered:
- Ensuring resourcing is meeting / exceeding the expectations of the business
- Cost per hire and quality of hire – making sure these are correct for the business
- Time to hire now becoming a key metric – does this mean functions need to change to adapt to this?
- Keeping up with the market eg. now being candidate driven – ensuring candidates get the right experience from recruitment teams
- Meeting the fluctuations of the business in demand for hiring – being ready for this and able to fulfil the needs of the business
- Being able to support the potential growth of businesses
- Having the capacity to do more than just recruitment – pipelining and candidates’ experience are seen as just as important now but not everything can be done with a high req load – what is most important to the business?
- Recruitment want to be seen as proactive and a strategic partner to the business
- Not wanting to give people with very rare skillsets a bad recruitment experience and put them off the company
- Recruitment need time to build knowledge of the market and competitors so can advise the business
- Making sure everything gets done well and properly rather than a little bit of everything not done properly
- Planning for the long term
- Geographical challenges – ensuring the client and candidates are communicated to in the right way no matter what country they are in – do recruitment have the language capability? Is this important?
- Career expectations of resources – It is hard to find people who will stay with the business a long time purely for resourcing
- Focus on both candidate and stakeholder experience
- Level of and quantity of roles
Which structure is best?
When looking at which structure is suitable for the resourcing team it is essential to bear in mind that there is no right or wrong. It is completely dependent on the type of business, number and level of roles as well as expectations on and aspirations of the recruitment function.
- Benefits of 360 – one fluid process – candidate experience?
- Benefits of segmentation – more time for each area
One suggestion is that a function could have both types of structure. Should roles be divided dependent on complexity of role? For low complexity the resourcing could be 360 and for high complexity solely focus on recruitment? This means that only some roles would need more that one team member per req which would save costs rather than doing this for every role.
Other options are as follows:
When dealing with fluctuations of demand is it best to try to outsource / hire interims rather than hire someone that may have nothing to do in 6 months time. Does this have an impact on candidates experience and message of employer brand?
Can you use outsourced partners who just give leads and then recruiters can “warm up” these candidates and deal with the rest of the process.
When hiring resourcers it is important to consider whether you want someone who is senior enough to take on the 360 role or someone who is more junior and purely resources or purely pipelines etc.
Representatives from the resourcing team need to be at key businesses meetings so that they can become more proactive due to knowing how much new business / growth is planned. They can then pipeline and have longer to find the best people rather than being told right at the last minute.
Providing evidence to gain business buy-in for the type of model that is being used is essential. Commercial things such as cost of roles being open, cost of not pipelining if want fast growth, cost of not doing market research before opening in a new market etc can all be used to create better businesses understanding of the importance of the resourcing tem. Sometimes partnering with finance to get this information can help create a better case. Having this information also helps resourcing to be proactive and create workforce plans. Finance should ensure people are budgeting for head count which can then be communicated to recruitment giving them more information way in advance of usual. Recruitment and talent need a place on the board so that this becomes a priority for the top of the business. If recruitment can then communicate the commercial business case of giving recruitment the resources and information they need this gets the board to listen.
Above and beyond recruitment
Does the business want recruitment to talent pool or have candidates in just in time pools? Do they have enough resource for recruiters to talent pool and keep these candidates warm? If not could just in time be a more sensible option. This means having the list of candidates ready but not having “touched them yet”, otherwise known as market mapping. This does take constant resource to keep up to date but it can be outsourced. However, this doesn’t help if recruiters are at peak volume anyway as they then don’t have the time to reach these candidates. Although the market mapping can be very interesting is it cost effective, especially in the short term for short wins? It may well take a couple of quarters to see return on investment on market mapping. This data has got to be kept up to date and also not everyone in the market map wants to leave or will be interested in your company. Therefore by the time you have reached out to all of these is it worth it?
Another option is giving the business and hiring managers the responsibility of talent pooling and market mapping. Candidates may be more likely to have initial conversations with these people rather than recruitment. Line managers could be graded on how good they are at this.
Some businesses are now looking at hiring for potential. This opens up the pool of talent that can be hired but businesses need to consider whether they have the infrastructure for when these people join the organisation – to train them etc?
Hiring Manager Involvement
One of the biggest issues in time and cost increase for the recruitment of roles can be the part a hiring manager plays in the process. Some recruitment functions are going as far as getting such clear definitions for a role and then interviewing and hiring the candidates themselves and then just present them to the hiring manager to try to reduce these issues.
If hiring managers were scored on a scale of effectiveness at recruitment could resourcing then decide how much of their time needs to be spent on the role or whether the recruiter needs to be 360 or segmented. This could even be used to justify training for the business by showing how much more time is needed from recruitment for a low scoring hiring manager. Training also creates a better bond and awareness between recruitment and hiring managers.
Managing senior stakeholders expectations (education and communication)
Recruitment should all spend at least a day in the area that they are recruiting for so that they can really understand what they should be looking for and create a relationship. People from the business should also sit in the recruitment function to experience some of the challenges recruitment face so they truly understand what time is spent on and the part they play in the process. Recruitment often just assume the business knows what they are doing but this is not always the case – they can be completely unaware of drivers.
- Evidencing how much time / cost is produced by the rest of the business rather than recruitment. People think that if recruitment has high costs the answer is to cut head count.
- Processes often are not streamlined which is extremely detrimental in this market – can recruitment clearly show to hiring managers how long they are taking by going through so many interview steps and ask them to justify is this really worthwhile?
- In a candidate driven market candidates often expect a one on one relationship. If recruitment is segmented hand over between different people is very important to get right. Companies are cautious that if they do not use 360 recruiters candidates are getting repeated stories and muddled conversations. Should certain people be purely responsible for candidate engagement?
- Is talent pipelining a waste of time if roles do not always actually become live?
- Hiring manager capability – hiring managers need to be trained on how much work goes into resourcing and why processes are a certain way.
As in every business initiative is essential to understand what good looks like and benchmark how close the function is towards this. To do this some of the below can be used:
- Surveying candidates to assess what the hiring / on-boarding process was like. Tools such as survey monkey can be used for this
- Surveying the businesses to understand their opinions on the resourcing function
- Demonstrating ROI dependent on influence of the structure of the recruitment function
- Cost of hire, time to hire etc – which metrics are most important to the business and are these good?
- Trial of different types of structures with feedback on how these worked
- High quality of hire metrics – measuring as much as can be – this is always dependant on the quality of the manager and quality of on boarding. Failed probations and attrition can be used. Quality needs to be associated with what that person has contributed back to the business. However this is dependent on whether recruitment is responsible for selection or attraction?
Overall, whatever structure a company uses it is essential to plot what the role of a recruiter looks like for everyone to understand and ensure that this relates back to the needs and expectations of the business.